Tony Cragg made this work during a visit to Britain in 1981, when he felt that the nation was beset by social and economic difficulties. The figure to the left is a portrait of the artist. Cragg lives in Germany, so although Britain is his native country he was viewing it through the eyes of an outsider.
Typically for Cragg, the work consists of many individual objects, arranged to form a larger image. This has prompted his work to be described as a 'relationship of the part to the whole', an idea derived from particle physics.